Friday, February 10, 2012

A Sitting Duck for Health Problems

Until Ontario Hydro changed it's billing system to time of day usage, I routinely baked and did laundry on alternating days as well as doing all my usual household chores. Now it costs twice as much to do any of these things during daylight hours so I now spend a lot more time sitting, doing things that don't take as much electricity, like sorting and filing and reading and painting.  Or I go somewhere else so I'm not using any electricity here, but usually where I go, I end up sitting too.

I know that we must keep active in order to stay healthy and it's always been recommended that we get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.  But recently I read that prolonged sitting is as bad for us as smoking as it increases our risks of diabetes, heart disease and a number of other health problems.  Apparently getting that 30 minutes of exercise doesn't really help if you spend the rest of the day sitting. The article suggested we all should spend more time on our feet, even while talking on the phone or doing other chores we would normally sit down for.  That prompted me to try going back to my old routine. I spent most of the day in the kitchen yesterday, making a pot of home made soup, and some fresh pizza dough for a chicken pizza.  There's enough of both left over for tonight, so at least I won't have to use all that energy two days in a row.  Electrical energy, that is. I still have to find a way to keep from sitting too much today.

Until I read this article, I had never really thought about it before, but really, Ontario Hydro's new pricing system is not good for our health. I know I'm not the only one that has become more idle during the daylight hours.  Seniors on a fixed income are especially at risk if they too are idling away the electrically expensive hours. Our bodies are not designed for long periods of sitting, and thinking about that, and the older people I know, the ones that are always on the move are not only more healthy, they don't seem to be aging as fast. 

I walk at least 10 blocks for my mail every day but the local streets have been an icy mess, so there have been more days than usual that I have felt housebound this winter. I certainly feel that it's aging me and I know I'll have to work to get my stamina back up when spring comes, if I want to enjoy my hobby of geocaching this year.  In the meantime, I'm going to try harder just not to sit so much.  That likely means I'll have to turn  the computer off more often, as I certainly spent entirely too much time sitting in this chair.  Maybe I'll go clean out some closets instead.

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